CMS Releases Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination For Health Care Staff

*Jan. 13, 2022 Update: The Supreme Court has upheld the COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirement for health care workers. Health care providers in the 24 states covered by this decision will now need to establish plans and procedures to ensure their staff are vaccinated and to have their employees receive at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Today’s decision does not affect compliance timelines for providers in the District of Columbia, the territories, and the 25 states where the preliminary injunction was previously lifted. Stay tuned for updates and new resources once they are available.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Dec. 28 issued supporting guidance on an interim final rule, issued Nov. 5, that requires COVID-19 vaccination for eligible staff at health care facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid. The new supporting guidance applies to various settings and suppliers. The guidance in the memorandum does not apply to the following states at this time: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Facilities covered by this regulation that are not located in the enjoined states must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine before providing any care, treatment or other services on Jan. 27, 30 days following the publication of the guidance. All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – by Feb. 28, 60 days following the publication of the guidance.

Read the full CMS guidance here. View guidance for specific health care settings here and updated FAQs here. This information may change as ongoing litigation proceeds.

Clinical Topics: COVID-19 Hub, Prevention

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Policy, Delivery of Health Care, Vaccination, Health Personnel, Medicare, Medicaid, COVID-19, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., COVID-19 Vaccines

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